News & Insights: Interview stages

How many interview stages should you hold or do everything in 1 stage?

History of interviewing

We have seen from the 1960s until 2019 most interviews would be a 2 stage or 3 stage however this has changed since 2020. In the past companies would call in a larger number of people for the 1st stage to see the talent pool available. They would then reduce this down to about 2 or 3 for a 2nd stage. From time to time, they would do a 3rd stage with one person only to conclude on the salary.

The 2nd stage was often the stage where skill set would be really dug into. 

Interviewing was more about the skill of the candidate not selling the company. It was more about you need us, not we need you.


We did some research via a linkedin vote on our linkedin network in November 2022. The results was very interesting

  1. 27% of people voted for only 1 interview stage
  2. 57% of people voted for 2 stage interview
  3. Out of the 57% of people wanting two stage, 75% said one of the 2 stages should be phone or online ie zoom/teams. With only 25% saying both should be inperson
  4. 16% of people said it should be 3 stages
  5. You would loose 27% of people  if you went to 2 stages and not 1 stage.  You would loose 84% if you went to 3 stage interviews. You would loose 70% of people if you went  to both 2nd stage inperson

The reason this has changed since 2020 is for a number of reasons:

Cost to interview: With petrol and public transport being so expensive, candidates are less likely to travel for 2 or 3 stages. 

Talent pool: The talent pool is very small these days, so companies are having to work faster and securing candidates within 3 days

Candidates have 4-5 other options:   We are finding candidates have many options, so having 4-5 other interviews going on, they would go with a company who is not doing a 3 stage interview

Skill set: There are many ways to see the skill set including looking at the candidates linkedin, asking questions which would highlight these skills etc

Interviews are two way:  Interviews these days are two way, they are about selling your company and brand as well as the candidate selling themselfs

Mindset: The mindset has changed, people want to use tech more like zoom or phones. If it is about asking skill set questions, can this be done via a camera instead of in person?

These are all questions to ask yourself. If you are finding it hard to source talent, you could be loosing 70% of the talent pool by going to two stages.  If you do 1 stage you get 100% of the talent pool, 2 stages you get 73% of the talent pool and if you go to 2 stages in person or 3 stages, this drops o only 30% of the talent pool.   To be ahead of other companies, having a review in place to see if you can change your interview process to make it faster, will help secure the talent pool



HtE Recruitment News & Insights

This news and insights page has been written by Rick our Director. This is just a guide with some ideas & based on a linkedin vote . HtE Recruitment take no responsibility for this post.

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